- COACH — SEAN BYRNE (6th year, 35-18)
- CONFERENCE — Pequot Uncas
- PLAYOFF CLASS — M (399 boys enrollment)
- HOME — Ellington High School Field
- 2017 RECORD — 5-5
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7 at Valley Regional/Old Lyme, 6:30 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITE — MaxPreps | TWITTER: @FootballKnights
- JONATHAN CONTE, Sr. QB (5-11, 185)
- RYUAN ANDERSON, Sr. OL/DL (6-3, 220)
- COLLIN ANDREWS, Sr. DB (5-11, 175)
- PHOENIX FAY, Sr. OL/LB (6-0, 180)
- JASON LESLIE, Soph. RB/DB (5-10, 165)
- ARON MONDSCHEIN, Sr. OL (5-10, 240)
- JEREMY DAVIS, Jr. RB/LB (6-0, 185)
- MICHAEL DIXON, Jr. WR/DB (5-8, 160)
- NOAH MARSHALL, Sr. OL/DL (5-10, 210)
- STEVEN MOLLER, Sr. TE/DB (6-2, 180)
RB/LB Jack Leslie, C/DE Aedan Randall, CB/SB Robert Martinez-Ecker, LB/WR/TE Nick Abbruzzese, CB/WR Josh Prouty.
Ellington couldn’t have asked for a more excruciating start to the 2017 season. The Knights, facing three eventual playoff teams, started the year 0-4. But the Knights managed to settle down, regroup and — once September was over — embarked on a season-saving run. They went 5-1 and salvaged a .500 season.
All told, however, Ellington was 0-4 against the Pequot League’s playoff teams, Valley Regional/Old Lyme, Coventry Co-Op, SMSA Co-Op and Stafford Co-Op. It’s pretty obvious what has to change in 2018.
Unfortunately for coach Sean Byrne, only two starters return on both sides of the ball. Ellington lost almost every player of consequence from last year, including the top receivers, tailbacks, all but one of the starting offensive linemen and just about every defender.
In fact, of the 31 touchdowns Ellington scored last season, only one was scored by a returning player — junior receiver Michael Dixon. The rest are all gone.
They’re not quite starting from scratch, however. One of the sole returning starters is senior quarterback Jonathan Conte, who threw for 1,026 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first year as a starter.
Despite the overall inexperience, Byrne is encouraged. He says this year’s team is comprised of “great kids who really work hard.” He also believes his offensive line, led by 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior Ryuan Anderson, has a chance to become a “solid unit” despite its inexperience and that the defensive backfield, manned by senior Collin Andrews, sophomore Jason Leslie, Dixon and senior Steven Moller, could to be a strength.
There’s reason to believe him. After all, Byrne hasn’t had a losing season since taking over for Keith Tautkus in 2013. The program hasn’t had a losing season since 2006’s co-op with Somers and East Windsor. Football comes natural in Ellington.
That said, this group has its work cut out for them. The Knights face the same brutal Pequot schedule as last year, and that means facing the same three state playoff teams to start the season before getting a break in October.
- Sept. 7 — at Valley Reg./Old Lyme,* 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 15 — COVENTRY/WT/BOLT/LYMAN,** 1 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at SMSA/Univ/Classical,** 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 29 — GRANBY MEMORIAL,** 1 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — at Canton,** 7 p.m.
- Oct. 19 — MORGAN,* 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 27 — at Gilbert/NW,** 1 p.m.
- Nov. 3 — STAFFORD/SOMERS/EAST WINDSOR,** 1 p.m.
- Nov. 10 — WINDSOR LOCKS/SUFFIELD/EAST GRANBY,** 1 p.m.
- Nov. 21 — at Rockville,** 6:30 p.m.
Home games in CAPS